Winning the Packing Room Prize has become its own prestigious event held annually at the Art Gallery of NSW, ahead of the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prize announcements and exhibition.
This year Matthew Lynn, who resides and paints in the lovely Blue Mountains region of Sydney, has been successful with his full length portrait of writer Tara Moss. First awarded in 1991 and chosen by the Gallery staff that receive, unpack and hang the entries, 51 per cent of the vote goes to the Gallery’s storeman, Steve Peters.
Moss is a novelist; television presenter, journalist and former model whom, since 1999 has written nine best-selling novels, which have been published in 18 countries in 12 languages. An outspoken advocate for the rights of women and children, she has also been an ambassador for the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children since 2000, a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2007, and UNICEF Patron for Breastfeeding for the Baby Friendly Heath Initiative (BFHI) since 2011.
Matthew Lynn finds her particularly persona very inspiring. Recently on becoming friends, he said he wanted to paint “a very straightforward, direct and open portrait that also celebrates her physical presence and style, and that would particularly express her natural engagement, gentleness, and even a little of her fierce determination and strength”.
Lynn has been a finalist in the Archibald Prize, awarded annually to the best portrait, on 12 previous occasions. He has been a runner-up twice and has also been voted People’s Choice.
The Packing Room Prize gives the Gallery staff that receive and cart around all the entries for the Archibald, a chance to vote for their own particular favourite. This year there were 868 Archibald, 773 Wynne and 626 Sulman entries.
Finalists for the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes have also been announced
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Art Gallery Road, The Domain, Sydney
On view 23 Mar – 2 Jun 2013